Antioxidants are the “good guys” present in natural, whole foods including fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds to name a few. As long as it’s natural and wholesome you can bet it’s probably a good source of antioxidants and something you want to include in your diet!
Two of my favorite sources of antioxidants include turmeric and cocoa and this is one of my favorite antioxidant rich drinks to warm my bones on chilly days and to help me feel soothed and comforted.
You’re probably wondering where your skin fits into all this, but let me explain a little more about the function of antioxidants before we dive into the amazing skin benefits antioxidants provide!
What exactly is an antioxidant?
In very simple terms, an antioxidant is effectively an anti-inflammatory molecule that helps to heal the body and fight off free radicals that cause cell damage and may contribute to anything from a sinus infection to even cancer!
There are 1000s of different types of antioxidants and each is unique. You may have heard of flavanols (found in cacao), resvaratrol (found in grapes), lycopene (found in tomatoes), vitamin A, C and E. Antioxidants are often responsible for a fruit or vegetable's color, so eating a wide variety of whole food of different colors can make sure you are getting plenty of antioxidants!
Consuming antioxidants through a healthy, primarily plant-based diet can help to protect your skin from the inside out, but because the skin is the body’s largest organ it’s important to apply antioxidants externally too to help address any skin care concerns and to protect the skin from external aggressors.
photo by Kimber Pine
How can antioxidants benefit and protect my skin?
While applying a facial oil or balm can help to form a protective barrier on the skin to keep pollutants out and water in, applying a product infused with antioxidants provides benefits that extend far beyond simply adding a dose of protection or hydration. Here are a few benefits that topical application of antioxidants can give your skin:
- Some antioxidants can help to promote the formation of collagen for a plumper, more youthful skin.
- They nourish the skin cells at a cellular level and infuses the skin cells with nutrients that will protect, repair and heal, not to mention leave your skin glowing with healthy radiance.
- Interestingly, studies have shown that topical application of antioxidants can in fact help prevent damage from UVA and UVB rays, and may be one of the most effective ways to prevent oxidative stress from daily stressors and sun damage.
A few of my favorite sources of antioxidants for the skin
If a product contains raw, fresh and high quality natural ingredients, you can be sure they will be rich in antioxidants. While our products are jam-packed with too many antioxidant-rich ingredients to mention in one post, here are just seven of my favorites!
I didn’t think I could get more excited about a berry since the blueberry, that is, until I found out about açai berries! They pack a nutrient punch and are brimming in potent antioxidants including vitamin C, ferulic acid, and epicatechin. These antioxidants work together to nourish the skin, fight inflammation and reduce redness, as well as protect against the premature signs of aging. Find açai in this face mask and scrub.
I especially love aloe, because it’s wonderful for soothing sensitive, irritated skin. Not only does aloe have powerful antioxidant properties due to its rich polyphenols and vitamin content, it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits too, which work together to hydrate the skin and banish dryness, while reducing redness, calming inflammation and preventing acne breakouts. Find aloe in both of our facial mists, this Mineral Purifying face mask and this face mud, a 2-in-1 mask and scrub.
CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is naturally present in human cells and is a fat-soluble substance that helps to protect the cells. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and applied topically may help to reduce and prevent against UV damage, minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles and stimulate collagen production. Find coQ10 in the Rose Nourishing Facial Oil, the Sea Berry Balancing Facial Oil, and our Vitamin C Balm.
This wonderful fruit is packed in phytonutrients such as caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, and quercetin, which all offer antioxidant benefits. Find elderberry extract in all our facial oils and balm.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols such as catechins, theaflavins, tannins, and flavonoids. The catechins in green tea have shown the ability to help prevent sun damage, especially when paired with an SPF. Green tea has also shown promise in reducing the occurance of break outs and possibly delaying the breakdown of collagen by inhibiting the enzymes that do so as we age. Find green this in our Neroli facial mist and in our Herbal Clarifying and Sea Berry Balancing Facial Oils.
Prickly Pear Oil
This one sounds a little weird and the fruit is certainly intimidating in appearance with it’s mean looking spikes, but the oil derived from this fruit offers some excellent skin benefits! Prickly pear is especially high in VItamin E, an antioxidant vitamin that helps to neutralize free radicals and will aid in skin repair and prevent premature aging.
Vitamin C is known as the beauty vitamin for a reason! Not only does vitamin C help to brighten the complexion, it fights inflammation in the skin and helps to promote the formation of collagen, a structural protein essential for firm, supple skin.
For an in-depth look at all our ingredients click here!
Hopefully, you are now better able to understand the hype surrounding antioxidants! Follow a healthy diet and infuse your skin with topically applied antioxidants to treat your health and your skin right, from the inside out.